2018 CAMBODIA TRAVEL GUIDE | TOURIST ATTRACTIONS, BUDGET HOTELS
Against All Odds: Rediscovering Cambodia
Many define a country from what they see. Others, however, define it based on its history. Many nations have gone through changes across time. Oftentimes, how we see countries of today may not be the same case in their former timeline, for better or worse.
Such is perhaps the country of Cambodia, a country rife with inner turmoil but once was a kingdom reckoned by its neighbors in the Southeast.
What was at the time of its unification a kingdom called “Kambuja” under the rule of Jayavarman II which begun the Khmer Empire, this previously Hindu realm has had its prosperity lasting for 600 years.
During the Angkorian period—a time when the Khmer empire’s power is at its peak—the kingdom of Kambuja extends in broader lands, of which are now territories of its neighboring nations, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. This is only telling of the might and richness that the Indianized state was which made it renowned among its neighbors.
It is during at the time of its growing might that the empire began establishing monuments which symbolized the prevailing religion of the country at the time. Of these infrastructures was the iconic Angkor Wat which is, by regard, the world’s largest building and symbol to the country of Cambodia.
Originally, meant as a beacon for the Hindu faith dedicated to the god, Vishnu, the monumental temple eventually had a facelift when one Khmer king shifted the kingdom’s religion to Buddhism. That, only to return to Hinduism, until finally settling as a predominantly Buddhist kingdom at a later time up to the present.
But overpowered by the growing might of the Ayuthaya civilization, the once mighty Khmer Empire had fallen as a vassal state to its nearby kingdoms which significantly weakened its power and influence in the region.
The kingdom soon fell to foreign rule when the French colonized the country until it finally earned its freedom in 1953.
Cambodia at Present Time
The country of Cambodia never returned to its glory since attaining sovereignty from foreign control and has thus just become a vestige of its previous glorious form. For a long time—until only recently—the country has had a troubled economy resulting from the damages of civil unrest and wars.
While the country may still lack the right elements to catch up with its developing neighbors, it is nonetheless rich in many beautiful and historic places which makes it worthy of a first look and actual experience. In fact, when you talk about Cambodian economy, tourism plays a significant role in it, apart from the aid it is getting from developed nations across many borders.
But, like many countries, the real treasure in the struggling country is arguably in its people who are constantly thriving despite the predispositions the country is set in. But overlook the hardships and the flaws, the Khmers are so significant in history, they are essentially interweaved with the land they call their own sovereign land.
Although with their own quirks, part of what makes a visit to this country good is by seeing first-hand a unique culture that partly defines a nation.
The Royal Palace
Cambodia Tourist Attractions
Travelling to another country can be very expensive but there are places which are budget friendly as well; for Southeast Asia, Cambodia is one of them. From transportation, accommodation to foods – almost everything is cheap so saving money is not really a huge problem. Aside from being perfect for the budget traveler, the country is also rich in arts and culture that can be the witnessed on its temples, and religious structures; eco-tourism and wildlife are also part of the tourism of Cambodia.
For some guidance on the top tourist destinations in Cambodia, here are the following facts:
Cambodia Temples and Palaces
When visiting Cambodia, Angkor Wat is on the top in the list of agendas. Angkor Wat which means ‘temple city,’ was originally built as a temple for the Hindu but eventually converted into a Buddhist one. With its perfection in the structure, it is definitely the largest and one of the finest monuments in the world. This site is actually a part of UNESCO’s Wonders of the World.
Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Province: Siem Reap Province
The Royal Palace
Serves as King Sihamoni’s official royal residence, The Royal Palace is one of the grandest places to visit in Cambodia. Though some areas are closed to the public, there are still many areas that visitors can explore to like the Throne Hall and Silvering Pagoda. King Sihamoni / Norodom Sihamoni is Cambodia’s ruler since October 2004; he is the eldest son of King Norodom Sihanouk and has succeeded the latter.
Address: Samdach Sothearos Blvd (3), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Hours: 8–10:30AM, 2–5PM
A Buddhist temple, the Wat Phnom is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The temple which stands 27 meters was built in 1372 and considered as the city’s tallest religious structure.
Address: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh
The Wat Ubosoth Ratanaram or the Wat Preah Keo Morakot is also called the Silver Pagoda. The structure is found on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh.
Address: Oknha Chhun St. (240), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Silver Pagoda
Another important structure in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the Independence Monument which was built in 1958 . The monument which can be found at intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city was built as a remembrance to Cambodia’s independence in 1953 from France .
Address: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Shopping and Souvenir Hunting in Cambodia
Tuol Tom Poung Market
A treasure trove for tourist, the Tuol Tom Poung Market is loaded with items ranging from jewelry, carved handicrafts, clothes, and much more. Food stalls are found everywhere to take a refreshment breaks during souvenir hunting.
Address: St 444, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Central Market, Phnom Penh
One of the largest market in Phnom Penh, the Central Market was constructed in 1937. As you enter the place you will see a line of stalls selling various items such as souvenir shirts, jewelry, carved items and much more.
Address: Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
National Museum of Cambodia
National Museum of Cambodia
This museum is located at Phnom Penh and is the leading historical and largest museum of culture and history. It houses to world’s finest collection of Khmer art that includes ceramics, sculptural, ethnographic objects, and bronzes. Visitors will be greeted by a large bronze sculpture of Vishnu statue which has been discovered at a temple near Angkor Wat dated 1936. Do remember that taking photos inside the museum is strictly prohibited; but is allowed in the inviting courtyard.
Address: Preah Ang Eng St. (13), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodian Living Arts
Located just at the back of The National Museum, this live show embraces traditional dances and music of Cambodia. As the country is rich in culture and arts, this performance is definitely a must to see. It is a one-hour performance from Mondays to Saturdays every 7 in the evening.
Nature and wildlife attractions
Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen or Mountain of Lychees is a mountain range located in Siem Reap province. This mountain is considered to be the most sacred one in the country. For visitors, it is possible to go at the peak via a developed road and a charged of certain amount is required for the maintenance of the site. Several temples can be found at the hilltop; however, most are already in a poor condition. Despite of that, it still one of the visited sited in the country.
Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
For nature lovers, this place is best place to go to. Some activities in the tour at this center are feeding the elephants, entering the private dens of tigers, getting up close with gibbons and leopards, and interact with baby macaque monkeys. Cambodian style lunch can also be enjoyed in this place as well.
LIST OF BUDGET HOTELS IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Listed below are some of the hotels in Siem Reap, Cambodia. You can book a room and get the best deal by clicking on the link/name of any of the hotels below.
Angkor Paradise Hotel
Street 6, Phum Sala Kanseng, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Pearl Hotel
Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17252
Bopha Pollen Hotel
# 202, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Street 22 (Tea Chamrat), Wat Bo Village, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Grand Elysee La Residence
Sombai Road, Sala Kamreuk, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17254
Glory Angkor Hotel Siem Reap
St 27, Wat Bo, Salakamreuk, (in Between Wat Bo Road and River Road), Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hotel Somadevi Angkor Boutique and Resort
City Center, Oknha Oum Chhay Street, Mondul II Village, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Kingfisher Angkor Hotel
Bos Por Street, Vichear Chen Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Okay 1 Villa
No. 0325, Taphul, Svaydangkum, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Popular Boutique Hotel
Psa krom Street #033, group 10, Viheachin Village, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Prithy & Mutta House
Wat Bo Road Krong Siem Reap , Cambodia, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Petit Villa Boutique & Spa
Bamboo Street, Wat Damnak, Salakaroeuk, Sala Kamreuk, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Royal Crown Hotel & Spa
St.7 Makara, Old Market Area, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
#167 ( Funky Lane ) Steung Tmei Village Svaydangkom Commune, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17355
Sok San Street Boutique
No. 169, Group 4, Sok San Road,Svay Dangkum ,Siem Reap Old Market, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17251
Tanei Boutique Villa
#017, Steng Thmey, Svaydongkhum, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17252
The Cyclo Siem Reap Hotel
National Hyw 6, Banteay Chas Village, Songkat Slor Kram, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17251
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